Stress not included!
No matter what time of the year it is, there is one thing that we can all agree on: if you’re a Solo Mom, you’re a busy mom. But you don’t have to feel overwhelmed when it comes to making healthy choices for you and your family. To help you, I’ve compiled a list of my best tips for how to be a healthy single mom that are easy to do as well as inexpensive.
1. Exercise with your kids. If you have young kids, use them as weights, toss them up in the air, or do weighted squats or bench-press with them. If you have older children, play a game of soccer or basketball with them or take them to the gym with you to work out so you can spend time with them while still getting in exercise and having fun. There are also gyms and studios with classes you can do with your child, such as yoga or CrossFit.
2. Prepare meals in advance. Plan and prep meals as much as you can in advance, and if you don’t have a Crock-Pot, consider investing in one. I have everything cut up and stored in portioned, meal-sized bags in the freezer. I just take out the freezer meal I’m hungry for that morning and throw it into the Crock-Pot. It takes me a couple of hours each Sunday to cut up everything and portion it for the rest of the week (or to use throughout the month), but I thank myself when I walk through the door every evening and I barely have to lift a finger to feed my family. You can also freeze fruits and veggies (or even buy them frozen) so you can grab them and go. They are convenient, healthy snacks for trips, errands, and lunches.
3. Host or join an online group aimed at living healthy. With healthy living groups online, you can check them out any time you’d like instead of stressing about making that meeting in person, and there are lots of other women out there looking for health support, too. ESME’s online Facebook groups are a great resource for Solo Moms who are looking to connect with like-minded people.
4. Don’t stress about self-care. You don’t need to spend tons of money every month on personal care products to have the perfect spa day. Epsom salt, apple-cider vinegar, and some scented bath salts or oils can go a long way! And if you feel like you need a nap instead of a long bath, don’t stress and listen to what your body is telling you.
5. Use apple-cider vinegar just about anywhere. Speaking of apple-cider vinegar—it’s got many health benefits and is versatile for using throughout the house! You can spray it with peppermint oil to combat bugs (we use it around the outer perimeter and windowsills) or even on ant beds to get rid of them virtually overnight. It’s great for your hair if your hair needs a quick and easy pick-me-up—just let the vinegar soak in and rinse. And I personally also use it to wash my face, which works better than any face wash I’ve ever purchased. It may not smell great, but it really does work!
6. Use cucumbers more. Cucumbers aren’t just for eating! This magical fruit can soothe tired eyes and can even be made into a face mask. For eyes, all you have to do is cut off two cucumber slices and gently rest them on your eyes for about 15 to 20 minutes for the puffiness and tired look to go away. For a facial mask, mix in lime and/or lemon juice (from a half of a slice), a splash of egg whites, some cucumber puree, and basil and/or mint leaves. Blend them together, and you’ll have a face mask. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and then clean your face with warm water and pat it dry for a refreshing feel.
7. Keep your heart and mind open to change. Once we learn to expect and accept that the one thing we can always count on is things changing, it will make it easier for you to take advantage of great opportunities that present themselves.
8. Laugh as much as you can. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul . . . and surprisingly, it also has an added bonus of burning calories.
9. Start your day off right. When you wake up in the morning, try to make your first thought a positive one. From there, make sure to eat something for breakfast, even if it’s a breakfast bar on the way out the door with a grab bag of your prepared fruits or veggies. Eating something within the first hour of waking up will help your blood sugar stabilize throughout the day.
10. Cut yourself some slack. Being a Solo Mom is not simple. It’s easy to overthink and overstress about the situations you are dealing with in your life, and when you do that, you just have to remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can. You shouldn’t compare yourself to other moms, either. It is so easy to compare your life to the lives of others, but remember that every person on this earth has his or her own issues regardless of job, marital, or even financial status.
Above all, keep rocking as the amazing Solo Mom that you are: you are strong, resilient, and to your children, YOU are a superhero.
Melissa Herb is a certified transformational coach, and you can find out more about her on her website, www.melissaherb.com.
Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.